The life of a politician, especially one running for the highest US office that can be held, the presidency, is a life where everything is subject to investigation, talk, rumor and which can play on even the most even tempered person's nerves, which was displayed recently when Barack Obama was trying to eat breakfast and reporters were relentlessly questioning him, and he responded by saying, "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"
When someone jumps headfirst into the American political arena it opens the door for journalists, opponents and US citizens to start probing into every aspect of their lives.
Waffles aside, there is a legitimate question whether a person should be judged by his associations with certain individuals and whether an association or more than one is "telling" of a man and his character or judgment.
Many complained when Barack Obama joined the race for the Democratic nomination for presidency, that Obama was unknown, he wasn't vetted, and many didn't know enough about him to judge whether he was someone they would be willing to vote for to become the president of the United States of America.
When the spotlight was shone on Obama, some information came to light that to many, was quite worrisome.
In no particular oder, citizens have seen many articles showing Obama's connection or association with Tony Rezko.
First Obama said that his association with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who is currently facing federal charges of attempted extortion, money laundering, and fraud, wasn't a close association, which news reports later showed wasn't exactly the truth. Then further digging showed there was also more money that exchanged hands than previously admitted.
Barack Obama admitted to having shown poor judgment with his association with Rezko.
Fair enough, it happens to the best of us.
Then came a firestorm of publicity about another association of Obama's. This time it was his pastor of almost 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, someone that Barack Obama has described as "like a member of my family". This is a man that preached what many have called "anti-American" rhetoric by way of sermons where he proclaimed, "God Damn America" (Video here of Wright's statements) as well as other controversial statements about a variety of subjects.
Barack Obama gave a speech shortly after that story broke, where he condemned Wright's words, yet did not condemn the man that said them. In that speech Obama also admitted to having heard controversial statements from his pastor, which he said he disagreed with, but just four days before, Obama said he had never heard those controversial statements.
Moving along to someone else that Barack Obama said was a spiritual adviser and/or guide, more news came out that Senator James Meeks, another pastor associated with Obama by his own statements, also had a video thrown out to the masses with the same type of speech as Wright.
The reports and bloggers made a big deal out of a Che Guevara flag that was prominently displayed in one of the many campaign offices for Barack Obama, a flag, even Obama's critics doubt he knew was put on the wall, but many had a hayday with speculation about the type of supporters Obama was drawing to him.
Which brings us to another association of Obama's, which has recently come to light and that is a man named, Sam Graham-Felsen.
Sam Graham-Felsen, a journalist-on-leave from The Nation, joined Obama for America in March 2007 where he works for the New Media department as the official blogger, daily presenting the campaign's public face. Now he's under fire for his reputed Marxist sympathies from bloggers at Common Ills on the left and Little Green Footballs on the right.
Graham-Felsen, according to a 2003 article in the Harvard Crimson, adorned one corner of his shared student apartment with "a Communist Party flag ... bought on their trip to Russia the summer after sophomore year."
According to Huffington Post, who listed information about paid staffers on the Obama payroll, from America campaign 2007 second quarter report, Graham-Felsen is a paid staffer for Barack Obama.
The WND article goes on to say that Graham-Felsen used to have a Communist Party flag in his Harvard campus apartment and published in a self-professed 'revolutionary Marxist' journal.
You can read the rest yourself, but the point of this article is that most everyone can agree that a person cannot be held responsible for an associates words or actions.
I think it is also safe to say that most people can be said to have shown bad judgment once in a while or at least once in their lives.
How many questionable associations can be brought to light for one person before people legitimately can ask about the "judgment" of a man that wants to hold the highest position in the US, that of the presidency?
More importantly, if a person surrounds themselves, consistently, with questionable characters, is it fair to start associating that person with company he chooses to keep?
These are questions voters will have to answer for themselves in the coming months.